This article will look at claiming compensation for professional negligence claims against solicitors. If you have seen your personal injury claim dropped or negatively impacted because of something your solicitor failed to do, we explain if you could be eligible to seek damages from the law firm at fault.
In the sections below, we explain the standards that solicitors must adhere to when representing their clients and how they may fall short of them. We discuss the evidence that can be used to prove negligence and how it helps calculate potential compensation owed.
We conclude this guide by detailing the benefits of working with a professional negligence solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. By calling our advisors for free today, they could offer you a free case assessment and answer your questions concerning professional negligence claims against solicitors. To learn more right now, you can:
Choose A Section
- Who Are Eligible For Professional Negligence Claims Against Solicitors?
- Examples Of Professional Negligence By Solicitors
- What Compensation Could You Receive For Professional Negligence Claims Against Solicitors?
- Evidence That Could Help You Sue Solicitors For Professional Negligence
- Professional Negligence Claims Against Solicitors On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Learn More About Claiming Compensation For Professional Negligence
To establish who could be eligible to make professional negligence claims against solicitors, the negligence criteria must be fulfilled. This means proving the following:
- That the solicitor owed you a duty of care
- There was a breach of this duty in some way
- This breach caused you to suffer losses.
Professional negligence can be defined as action or inaction on the part of the personal injury or medical negligence solicitor which leads to their client suffering a loss of chance. This means the loss of chance to pursue all or part of their claim.
Below, we look at some ways that a solicitor could fail in their duty of care that could make them liable should their client suffer losses. To find out more about the process of making professional negligence claims against solicitors such as those that represent personal injury or medical negligence cases, call our advisors today for free advice.
Below are some general examples of why claimants may want to pursue professional negligence claims against solicitors:
Missing the limitation date – A three-year time limit on personal injury claims applies as outlined by the Limitation Act 1980. Missing this limitation date can be a failure to manage your personal injury claim properly. This will mean your case has become statute-barred, and you can no longer pursue this claim.
Under-settling your claim – Bad advice from solicitors about the amount of compensation can mean that a claimant accepts an amount that is too low. Inexperience or haste may cause the solicitor to recommend this or accept an offer on their client’s behalf without proper consultation. Incorrect or incomplete calculations about lost earnings or long-term health needs can also negatively impact the amount aimed for.
Your solicitor’s actions causing your case to be struck out – If your solicitor fails to meet court deadlines or misses court appearances, the judge can strike your claim out, meaning that it can no longer be pursued.
To find out if you have a valid professional negligence claim against a personal injury solicitor, then call our team today and, through a free consultation, have your case assessed.
Is There A Time Limit To Making A Professional Negligence Claim?
Professional negligence claims need to be started within a 6-year period as described by Section 5 of the Limitation Act 1980. There are exceptions. If you have worked with a personal injury solicitor who was negligent and it impacted your claim in a negative way, you could be eligible to claim. Get in touch to discuss.
Successful claims against a personal injury or medical negligence solicitor for professional negligence put the claimant in the position they would have been in if negligence had not occurred. Personal injury claims, as well as medical negligence ones, if successful, will include general and special damages. So if your claim against said solicitor is successful, you would be awarded the same type of damages.
General damages are amounts that can look at medical evidence to evaluate pain, suffering and loss of amenity and can be used as a starting point for the way compensation is calculated. Also, an 8% interest is payable for each year that has passed since the initial claim was made.
Legal professionals use a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to guide their valuation. Below we include an excerpt for your information. Important to note the amounts listed in this document are not guaranteed:
Guideline Award Brackets
|Area of Injury||Severity||Award Bracket||Definition|
|Head||(c) Moderate (i)||£150,110 to £219,070||An impact on the personality, senses and intellect with a significant risk of epilepsy.|
|Back||(a) Severe (i)||£91,090 to £160,980||Severe spinal root and nerve damage causing acute pain and disability.|
|Pelvis||(a) Severe (iii)||£39,170 to £52,500||Acetabulum injury that causes degenerative changes and leg instability. Increased likelihood of hip replacement surgery.|
|Hand||(e) Serious Hand Injuries||£29,000 to £61,910||Injuries that reduce the hand by around 50% capacity or leave it clawed and clumsy with decreased dexterity.|
|Leg||Severe (iv)||£27,760 to £39,200||Complicated or multiple fractures and crushing injuries usually affecting one limb. Impact on employment prospects and risk of degenerative changes.|
|Arm||(c) Less Severe||£19,200 to £39,170||Despite significant disabilities, a good degree of recovery takes place (or is expected to).|
|Knee||(b) Moderate (i)||£14,840 to £26,190||Dislocations and torn cartilage issues causing minor instability and wasting or weakness.|
|Ankle||(c) Moderate||£13,740 to £26,590||Fractures and tears to ligaments that create difficulty walking on uneven ground. Risk of osteoarthritis.|
|Neck||(b) Moderate (ii)||£13,740 to £24,990||Soft tissue or wrenching-type injuries causing serious limitation of movement and constant pain.|
|Shoulder||(d) Minor (i)||£4,350 to £7,890||Soft tissue injuries with virtually a full recovery in less than two years.|
Special damages can use documented evidence of directly related costs as proof that you suffered financial harm. You can speak to our team for precise guidance on what might be eligible for inclusion, but below are some general items that might apply:
- Wage slips that show a loss of earnings caused by the injuries
- Incurred medical expenses
- Travel costs
- Essential care costs as you recovered
- Any adaptations to your home or vehicle.
Evidence for professional negligence forms the vital foundation for a claim. A key piece of evidence can be the letter that solicitors are obliged to send to clients explaining why their claim has been dismissed. This may be for reasons beyond the solicitor’s control, but if it was an error on the solicitor’s part, they should notify you accordingly.
Any other claims correspondence could also be included as evidence as well. For more guidance, contact our team to discuss your claim for professional negligence against solicitors.
We work closely with a panel of solicitors who can offer their services in a No Win No Fee capacity. The No Win No Fee solicitor may offer their services through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is a type of No Win No Fee service.
Typically, this means that your No Win No Fee solicitor requests no upfront or ongoing payment for the work completed on your claim. If the claim is unsuccessful, they do not need payment for any completed work.
In the case of a successful outcome, a small deduction is made from the payout awarded as a success fee. This is a percentage that is subject to a legislative cap which means you always receive the majority of the compensation awarded.
If you would like to know more about your eligibility to start a claim for professional negligence against a solicitor, get in touch with one of our advisors. As well as assessing your claim, they could connect you with a specialist solicitor to benefit both you and your claim.
In addition to professional negligence claims against solicitors, we offer a further reading from our website below:
- How many personal injury claims go to court?
- Read about compensation for psychological injury
- Do you need a solicitor for a personal injury claim?
More helpful resources:
- Advice from the SRA about reporting a solicitor
- From the Law Society about making a complaint about a solicitor
- In conclusion, read details on the Legal Ombudsman.